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A Columbus man fatally injured when the mo-ped he was riding collided with a car near Hope was identified Friday as Aaron Collins.
The 34-year-old, of 924 Ninth St., died of multiple trauma to the body in the accident Thursday night, Bartholomew County Coroner Larry Fisher said.
Fisher said Collins’ injuries included multiple skull fractures and other fractures to his pelvis, femur, tibia, fibula, and other bones in the lower body.
Alcohol might have played a role in the accident, the coroner said. Initial testing showed Collins tested positive for alcohol, although a specific blood-alcohol level wasn’t immediately available.
Another man riding on the mo-ped sustained life-threatening injuries and was flown by LifeLine helicopter to IU Health Methodist Hospital in Indianapolis, said Maj. Todd Noblitt, spokesman for the sheriff’s department.
He was identified Friday afternoon as Richard L. Newman, 43, of 405 Smith St., Columbus. Police originally asked for the public’s assistance in identifying Newman because he did not have any identification on him.
Officers went to the hospital to take fingerprints to confirm Newman’s identity.
Noblitt described the injured man’s status early Friday as unstable. A message left with the hospital for an update was not returned.
Collins and Newman were thrown from the mo-ped, Noblitt said. Neither of them had been wearing a helmet.
The accident happened at 6:52 p.m. Thursday near County Road 450N and County Road 425E.
Noblitt said the mo-ped recently had been reported as stolen to the Columbus Police Department. Investigators have not been able to determine which victim was driving the mo-ped.
Investigators and accident reconstructionists determined that the mo-ped was traveling north on County Road 425E and failed to yield to a car driven by Lisa Long, 54, of Hope, Noblitt said.
Long, who was traveling east on County Road 450N, had the right of way and was unable to avoid the collision, Noblitt said. Long received minor injuries and was treated at the scene.
Collins, who was the father of two children, was taken by ambulance to Columbus Regional Hospital, where he died.
Funeral arrangements are being planned by Jewell-Rittman Family Funeral Home in Columbus. An obituary appears in today’s paper.
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